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Transform your home: Mixing modern and vintage wall decor

Do you love blending contemporary and classic aesthetics in your home? Mixing modern and vintage wall decor is the perfect way to achieve a transitional style interior.

But how can you get the balance of old and new right? Keep reading as we share simple ways to achieve a striking combination of sleek modern pieces and elegant vintage items to transform your home into an eclectic space. 

Related article: Personalised home decorating: Tips on how and where to display canvas photos in your home
Related article: Scandinavian office inspo: Dreamy Scandi style offices and where to shop the look

Kerrie Ann living room gallery wall
Image via @kerrieann_jones_stylist

Frame it up

One way to showcase vintage wall decor is through a beautifully framed picture. As our style crush Julia Green says, anything can become art when you put a frame around it. So whether it’s an antique painting or a striking black-and-white 1920’s photograph, get creative with your frames.

If you want to add even more interest, consider a gallery wall with vintage and chic frames. Imagine a gallery wall of curated retro posters, family photos, and abstract prints. Blending the old and the new using frames adds visual interest that reflects your personality.

Repurpose old objects  

Do you have an old-fashioned object that you love but don’t know what to do with? Then, consider transforming it into wall decor! 

Old items like flags, decorative plates and salvaged wood can be transformed into one-of-a-kind wall art. For example, you can display antique quilts with an old wooden ladder or mount it inside a frame. These repurposed vintage items add character and history to your space.

Kerrie Ann gallery wall
Image via @kerrieann_jones_stylist

Decorate with mirrors 

Mirrors offer both decorative and spatial advantages to any room. Incorporating a vintage mirror into a modern space can be a game-changer. For instance, an antique gold-framed mirror can be the focal point of your living room or bedroom. Its intricate details and timeless elegance will effortlessly complement your contemporary furnishings.  

Remember, finding the right balance between vintage and up-to-date elements is the key to a welcoming atmosphere.

Mix textures

In interior design, texture is crucial in bringing a space to life. When adding antique wall decor to modern interiors, don’t shy away from mixing textures. Consider these tips:  

Wallpaper with a twist  

Opt for a modern wallpaper with a vintage-inspired pattern to add texture to your walls while maintaining a contemporary feel.

Rug as wall art 

Just like flags and quilts can be used as wall art, so too can an an old-fashioned Persian rug. The combination of textures will create a visually interesting, cosy atmosphere.

Textured artwork

Add a touch of vintage charm by hanging textured artwork on your walls. Look for pieces with intricate designs like macrame or woven tapestries to bring depth. Keep in mind that finding the right balance is vital to mixing modern and vintage wall decor. 

Hang plates 

We mentioned it briefly before but it deserves to be said again, hanging vintage plates on the wall can add just the right amount of quirkiness to your modern interiors.   

Visualise a set of delicate porcelain plates with hand-painted floral designs. Ensure they’re arranged in a balanced composition on a large blank wall.

Add a touch of nature  

Bringing nature indoors is always a good idea. Here are a few nature-inspired decorating ideas to incorporate into your modern-vintage wall decor:   

Botanical prints

Hang vintage botanical prints on your walls to bring a touch of nature into your space. Choose prints featuring different plant species, such as flowers, leaves, or herbs. Opt for frames matching your room’s colours and style, whether a sleek black frame for a modern look or a distressed wooden frame for a vintage feel. You can even DIY your own using this tutorial from our archives!

Close up of gallery wall
Image via @kerrieann_jones_stylist

Dried flower arrangements  

Ok, we’ll admit it, the dried flower trend has passed but that doesn’t mean you should disregard them altogether. Fresh ways to displayed dried flower arrangements include hanging them individually or arranging them in a shadow box for a three-dimensional look.

Macrame plant hangers

Another way to bring life and texture to your walls is with macrame plant hangers filled with trailing plants or succulents on your walls. Macrame fits the boho style to a T while plants breathe life into your space. If you’re keen to flex your green thumb, check out our tutorial on how to propagate devil’s ivy which is the perfect indoor plant for hanging planters.

Make a statement with shelving

Shelves aren’t just for storing books — they can also serve as platforms to showcase your vintage wall decor. For example, a rustic wooden shelf with an antique typewriter, retro cameras, and old books can become a conversation starter.

To maximise the impact of your vintage and modern wall decor, our tip is to use vintage items sparingly in amongst modern decor. That way they become focal decorative objects rather than a busy collection of retro items. 

You can also experiment with floating shelves to give your vintage treasures a minimalist and contemporary look. By playing with different shelving styles and materials, you can create a dynamic focal point in your space.

Ultimately, blending modern and vintage wall decor is a creative way to improve your home. With these decorative ideas, you can add a retro-infused style to your interior design. So, unleash your creativity and show off your personality — the result may be even better than you imagined!

More styling inspo

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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